We’ve been extremely fortunate to root for the Red Sox over the last 15 years. They’ve been in contention almost every year (2012 never happened I don’t know what you’re talking about), and they’ve gotten three championships in the process. Clearly, 2004 was the most meaningful of these. It was the year that broke the curse, and the year they came back from a 3-0 deficit in the ALCS to beat the Yankees. There is literally nothing that could top this year for Red Sox fans. There’s 2013 as well, which came on the heels of the Bobby V disaster and completed the worst-to-first transition. When you add in the beards and Mike Napoli walking shirtless through the street with a cigarette hanging from his mouth, that was a special year. Then, there’s 2007, the forgotten champions.
This is something that has bothered me for a while now. That 2007 team means a lot to me personally, and it gets to me that it’s sort of swept aside. I don’t really know why I’m so connected to it besides my being the right age. I was 16 that year, which put me as old enough to watch and analyze the game on a daily basis, but young enough to truly enjoy everything. It was also the same fall I got my license, so life was pretty good overall.
Beyond the personal connection, it was also simply the best Red Sox team I can remember. Those 2003 and 2004 teams were obviously stacked, but the 2007 team was a dominant force that never looked like anything less than the best team in baseball. The latest date in which they did not hold sole possession of first place in the division was April 17. Over the first two months of the year, they posted a .692 winning percentage. That’s a 112-win pace. They were dominant, and they had memorable players up and down the roster that I will look back on as the players I remember from my formative years. David Ortiz was in the middle of his prime. Manny Ramirez was ending his. Dustin Pedroia was winning Rookie of the Year. Hideki Okajima was starting my obsession with relievers.
With it being the anniversary, I hope the Red Sox take the time to honor over the course of the season. They’ve done it plenty of times in the past, so it should happen this year. I mean, if you’re going to honor the 1986 team that simply made the World Series, you have to plan some stuff around the team that actually won the World Series. To be fair, I have no reason to expect they won’t, though I also haven’t seen any concrete plans.
Whether the team honors them or not (or at least to the extent I would personally like), I am not going to let the 10-year anniversary pass. Over the course of the next nine-plus months, I’ll be sprinkling in some posts to remember some of the players, games and events from that year. It may not be the most exciting and/or memorable World Series championship of this recent run, but it certainly deserves our adulation.